Local Government Minister To Meet With National Disaster Committee Sept 16

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says he will convene a meeting with the National Disaster Committee on Monday (September 16), to discuss Jamaica’s state of readiness in the event of a disaster. Story Highlights Mr. McKenzie, who spoke at the monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, in Falmouth, on Thursday (September 12), said the Government is not prepared to adopt a “wait and see” attitude, and will be proactive in its approach. “As the local authority with responsibility for preparedness, we must be proactive in what we are doing. Assessments need to be done now as to where we are in terms of our shelters [as well as] the critical areas of the parish that would need attention,” the Minister emphasised. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says he will convene a meeting with the National Disaster Committee on Monday (September 16), to discuss Jamaica’s state of readiness in the event of a disaster.Mr. McKenzie, who spoke at the monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, in Falmouth, on Thursday (September 12), said the Government is not prepared to adopt a “wait and see” attitude, and will be proactive in its approach.“As the local authority with responsibility for preparedness, we must be proactive in what we are doing. Assessments need to be done now as to where we are in terms of our shelters [as well as] the critical areas of the parish that would need attention,” the Minister emphasised.He said all municipal corporations will be put on notice to activate their respective disaster response mechanisms to ensure that the necessary resources, such as provisions, equipment, volunteers and more, are in place and are ready to be deployed in case of any emergency.The Minister said the Government is treating this as a vital matter, because more than 98 per cent of the country’s capital towns are near the coast.“We have to, as a country, start to examine how we treat disasters, and I am saying this today, that we are prepared now to invoke the provisions under the Disaster Risk Management Law that speaks to compulsory evacuation of communities across the country,” Mr. McKenzie said.“For too long we see where communities that are prone to flooding refuse to heed the call. This Government is not going to put itself in any position because a few refuse to heed the warning. We are prepared to throw the books at those persons who will not accede to the request to relocate if the need arises,” he added.The Minister also indicated that special attention must be given to the vulnerable and physically challenged. He said they must be put “on a list of priorities, so that we can identify them if the time comes for them to be relocated”.In response to the hurricane-ravaged neighbouring islands of The Bahamas, the Minister announced that the 14 municipalities across the country have agreed to make donations of US$5,000 to the relief assistance.He said the money will be lodged to an account that was set up by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).“ I would urge all of you who can make that contribution to help the plight of the people in The Bahamas to do so. We could be in their position. So, while we are in a much better space today, I am asking that we give to the efforts of the people in The Bahamas,” Mr. McKenzie said.The donation account is at the National Commercial Bank, Oxford Road Branch, with the account number: 212387304. The name of the account is ‘ODPEM Donation Account’. read more

Members Of Gayle Cricket Team Give Back

“Over the years, we have won the St. Mary parish phase of the competition several times, and each year, 15 per cent of those prize monies went to a project focused on the improvement of a school within the community,” Captain of the Gayle Cricket Team, Sheldon Pryce, told JIS News. Members of the Gayle Cricket Team, winners of the 2019 Social Development Commission (SDC)/Wray & Nephew National Community T/20 Cricket Competition, have given back some of their prize money to the parish. Story Highlights “We have long wanted to complete this project and now we have the opportunity, thanks to a percentage of the prize money we received from the SDC/Wray & Nephew National Community T/20 Cricket finals,” he added. Members of the Gayle Cricket Team, winners of the 2019 Social Development Commission (SDC)/Wray & Nephew National Community T/20 Cricket Competition, have given back some of their prize money to the parish.“Over the years, we have won the St. Mary parish phase of the competition several times, and each year, 15 per cent of those prize monies went to a project focused on the improvement of a school within the community,” Captain of the Gayle Cricket Team, Sheldon Pryce, told JIS News.“We have long wanted to complete this project and now we have the opportunity, thanks to a percentage of the prize money we received from the SDC/Wray & Nephew National Community T/20 Cricket finals,” he added.The team emerged winners on Sunday, August 25, when they defeated the Orange Hill Cricket Club from Westmoreland. The final of the competition was held at the Noranda Bauxite Company Port Rhoades Sports Complex in Discovery Bay, St. Ann. The first prize was worth $1.2 million.“Cricket to the SDC means more than just participating in the sport. As a community development agency, it is mandatory that all teams wishing to participate be affiliated with a civil society organisation in the community. As part of assisting with the development of their community, it is mandatory that each team earning from prize money at any stage of the competition implement a project to benefit the community with a minimum of 15 per cent of such earnings,” explained SDC Senior Programmes Coordinator, Terrence Richards.The Gayle Cricket Club/Team chose to renovate the Physical Education and Sports Department at the Tacky High School in Gayle, St. Mary.“Presently, there are five students of the Tacky High School who are members of the Gayle Cricket Club. Also, there are other players who are past students and members of staff at the institution, so we are aware of the need for repair and upgrade of the Physical Education Department building,” Mr. Pryce said.“This building has played a major role in the positive upliftment of many members of the Gayle community and continues to be a central meeting space for community members to meet and plan for sporting and other community activities,” he noted.On Sunday, September 29, members of the Gayle Cricket Club and volunteers will gather at Tacky High School to carry out renovation works, including the installation of new windows, bulbs and doors, as well as the painting of the walls of the Physical Education Department. read more

Toronto stock index posts gains on strong jobs data ahead of holiday

TORONTO — Strong jobs reports in Canada and the United States boosted the markets Friday, finishing the week on a positive note ahead of the long weekend.On Bay Street, the S&P/TSX composite index advanced 66.01 points to 15,257.97.Meanwhile on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average posted its eight straight record close, climbing 66.71 points to 22,092.81. The S&P 500 index added 4.67 points to 2,476.83 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 11.22 points to 6,351.56.“It’s been jobs Friday and jobs Friday is always the driver of that day when it comes to markets, commodities and currencies,” said Macan Nia, a senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments.Earlier in the day, Statistics Canada reported that the economy added 10,900 jobs in July, the eighth month in a row of employment growth.The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 per cent, a level not seen since October 2008, just before the global recession gripped Canada.U.S. stocks also rose following that country’s jobs report release, which showed employers added 209,000 jobs last month. July was the second consecutive month of strong hiring, suggesting that the U.S. economy is still growing steadily.Nia said the ideal situation for the markets is a so-called Goldilocks recovery where the pace of economic growth isn’t rapid enough to induce central banks to raise rates in quick succession and provide a headwind for capital markets.Growth in Canada and U.S. is slightly above average, he said, which allows central banks to be accommodating and is the best environment for capital markets.Friday’s jobs reports indicate the countries’ central banks are likely to raise rates one more time before the close of the year, Nia added.The likelihood of the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates once again in December has strengthened the greenback and weakened gold, he said.The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.13 cents US, down 0.37 of a U.S. cent, while the December gold contract shed $9.80 to US$1,264.60 an ounce.Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract advanced 55 cents to US$49.58 per barrel, September natural gas declined 2.6 cents to about US$2.77 per mmBTU and September copper gained about one cent to roughly US$2.89 a pound.Canadian financial markets will be closed on Monday, Aug. 7 for the Civic Holiday, while U.S. financial markets will be open.By Aleksandra Sagan in Vancouver.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more